Changes on the way

Dear SaaB readers,

I wanted to let you know that the look of the site and likely the domain will be changing soon. Given my current workload and responsibilities, it doesn’t make sense for me to continue paying for premium services when I’m not blogging regularly. So I’ll be making a few website changes to lower the cost of preserving existing site content.

Thank you for your understanding.

~Julia

Reflecting on the rest of Romans 6

Any Christian who ever learned the “Romans Road” method of communicating the gospel can probably recite Romans 6:23, “23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

It is an essential and tremendous reminder. We, because we are sinners from the start, deserve the wrath of God. But he has given us eternal life instead.

But it struck me as I reread the entire chapter of Romans 6 repeatedly this week that there is so much more there. It is a stern warning to anyone who would abuse the grace of God to continue sinning. It is a call to obedience and holiness and an admonition to wrestle against our sinful desires, with the confidence that Jesus has already set us free from their power over us!

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Church of Wimps

I read Luke chapter 9 this morning where Jesus reacts to three people who claim they would “follow him” anywhere. A modern mindset would probably expect a reaction along the lines of “Great you have you, buddy!” Jesus instead lays each one of them bare and exposes where their true hearts lie — whether it is in comfort or loyalty to family or something else.

As I continued my morning routine I thought on this. It struck me that the first one in particular chafes against an American mind.  Continue reading

Don’t Miss List: Updates on refugees, persecution and more

Doctors Without Borders update from Serbia

This update from Serbia about the refugee and migrant crisis there is gut-wrenching and needs to be read. DWB has been treating people including children for injuries, including many sustained by border control authorities. Now many in Serbia are also suffering frostbite or dying from the cold. Whatever your stance on the immigration issues and politics of this, I think it’s essential to remember that these are all humans.

Doctors without Borders stated it well, “Whatever you think about their right to travel to and within Europe, they deserve to be treated as human beings, with dignity. And right now, they’re not.”

Fellow Christians, please remember to keep praying for these people and this crisis as a whole.

New World Watch Lists Catalogs Worst Nations for Christians

Open Doors released its annual World Watch List last Wednesday showing another increase in persecution and deteriorating situation in many countries. Here’s the story I wrote about that for WORLD online.

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The Word: Hebrews 10:1-18

Given yesterday’s Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement post, this passage seemed a good choice today:

Hebrews 10:1-18 ESV:

For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,

“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,

but a body have you prepared for me;

 in burnt offerings and sin offerings

you have taken no pleasure.

 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,

as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’ ”

When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second.  And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,

“This is the covenant that I will make with them

after those days, declares the Lord:

I will put my laws on their hearts,

and write them on their minds,”

then he adds,

“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”

Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

Don’t Miss List: “Favorite” Heresies, Don’t Trust Your Heart, How to Reach the Suffering and More

This list has been a long time coming. Quite a bit of ground to cover, since I haven’t done this for awhile. I’ll start with the most timely subjects:

“This is the last spastic breath from the Religious Right before its overdue death” – Collin Hansen

I generally avoid political issues like the plague around here. I believe the gospel and the truth contained in God’s word matter more than politics ever could. However, this opinion piece by Collin Hansen of TGC speaks directly to Christians about the latest Trump scandal and, is, in my view an essential read. Read it even if you don’t love the headline (I didn’t like the headline) – a better one would have been from the end “Woe to the hypocrites.”

The passage I found most pertinent:

To the older evangelicals planning to vote for Trump: You can try to explain the difference in electing a president and hiring a 23-year-old college graduate to evangelize students. You can say we’re electing a commander in chief and not a Sunday school teacher. You can say that God often raises up pagan leaders to deliver his people from their enemies. But no one is fooled by your arguments.

They can see you will apparently excuse anything in a Republican nominee so long as the alternative is a manifestly unqualified Clinton. And they will conclude that they don’t really need to listen to you when it comes to “traditional, biblical ethics.”

Keep reading at The Washington Post Continue reading

Sharing: Narrow is the Way…

by Mike Ratliff 14 You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to […]

via For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it — Possessing the Treasure